Archive for the tag 'justice'

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Kings Plaza Shopping Center (5100 Kings Plaza) will soon be home to the first Brooklyn locations of three national brands: Fossil, Michael Kors and Justice.

The Commercial Observer reports:

Michael Kors, which sells sell apparel, accessories and footwear, leased 4,000 square feet at the borough’s only enclosed mall. Fossil will sell its watches, handbags and jewelry out of a 1,100-square-foot space at the mall and Justice girls clothing store will sell its duds from a 4,200-square-foot space.

Fossil will be the first to open in the spring. Fall will see the arrival of Michael Kors, while Justice is slated for the holiday season.

John Hockenjos, an MTA worker, was charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly try to run over a police officer.

Hockenjos (Source:

Diego Palacios, the police officer kicked off the force after his bogus arrest of a Sheepshead Bay man, may have been sentenced to four days in prison – but he served only one night.

New York Post picked up on our exclusive story last week – without giving credit to Sheepshead Bites – noting that Palacios pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of four days in prison and his resignation from the NYPD. The paper learned that Palacios had to spend only a single night behind bars, though.

Palacios was imprisoned after the Thursday afternoon hearing, in which he admitted to filing a false police report that claimed Sheepshead Bay resident John Hockenjos attempted to run the officer over with his car. That four-day sentence meant that Palacios would have been a free man again on Sunday.

But the sweetheart deal for a man who nearly put an innocent man in jail for seven years got even sweeter for Palacios: state law requires that inmates scheduled for discharge on a weekend should be freed on Friday.

Palacios spent the night in jail, and was freed the next day.

Hockenjos is fuming over the short prison sentence, and afraid for his safety.

“He’s a free man to do whatever he wants,” Hockenjos told Sheepshead Bites last week. “And I have to be in pure fear that there could be retribution. I should not be in this position.”

Video that saved Hockenjos from heading to prison after being falsely accused by Palacios of attempting to run him down in his car.

John Hockenjos, an MTA worker, was charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly try to run over a police officer.

Hockenjos in front of the courthouse. (Source:

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A cop who falsely claimed that a Sheepshead Bay man tried to run him down in a car was sentenced to four days in prison – only one day more than his victim was locked up based on the officer’s bogus charges.

Officer Diego Palacios pleaded guilty at a hearing on Thursday in Brooklyn Supreme Court in exchange for a sentence of four days and his resignation from the New York City Police Department, the District Attorney’s office told Sheepshead Bites.

The three-day sentence has Palacios’s victim, East 23rd Street resident John Hockenjos, furious – and afraid for his safety.

“This individual spends four days in prison, with no probation, and he gets out of jail today or tomorrow and he’s a free man to do whatever he wants,” Hockenjos told Sheepshead Bites. “And I have to be in pure fear that there could be retribution. I should not be in this position; there should at least be probation.”

Continue Reading »

Lady Justice, atop the Fontaine de la Justice in Cudrefin, Switzerland. Source: Wikimedia. Click to enlarge

BETWEEN THE LINES: A 68-year-old former Brooklyn resident died of a heart attack a few weeks ago in a New Jersey nursing home, not far from where he lived until his late teens. Though his life was undistinguished, his death prompted a New York Times obituary and op-ed, and 125 Google articles — negligible by today’s standards when compared to the glut of trivia on the rich and famous, yet more than merited for such an unexceptional life.

Few people probably ever heard of George Whitmore, but, due to a progression of regrettable circumstances, he almost certainly never realized the effect he had on the nation’s justice system or New York State’s death penalty law.

Whitmore was a grade-school dropout, whose life was disrupted when he was victimized by malicious detectives and an imperfect judicial system. It was justice run amok long before the New York City Police Department’s questionable and racially-motivated Stop & Frisk policy became the subject of debate. Even so, Whitmore was part of a pattern of veiled racism that existed — and, in some ways, still does — in the dark corners of law enforcement and the halls of the American legal system.

Continue Reading »

Sheepshead Bay Mosque

The site of the proposed mosque. Local Muslims painted over where a vandal had previously spray painted "He is dead" after Osama bin Laden's death.

A Kings County Supreme Court judge refused yesterday to issue an injunction against the proposed mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue that would have required them to halt construction. But Bay People, the opponents of the mosque, are saying the “fight is far from over.”

The morning hearing was for a preliminary injunction to stop contractors from continuing work on the mosque until neighbors’ zoning challenges have been properly reviewed. The motion was filed in April by lawyers from the main opposition group, Bay People, after they got tired of what they believe to be administrative stonewalling.

Continue Reading »

Hanaa Khalil says problems at Kingsborough began when she showed up in head scarf.


So much for those “progressive bastions” known as higher education institutions. Or maybe that title is reserved for four-year schools…

Officials at Kingsborough Community College were ordered to head back to school themselves – for a workplace discrimination class – after illegally firing a chemistry professor because she is Muslim. They’re also going to have to shell out $17,700 in damages and backwages.

The victim, 46-year-old Egyptian immigrant Hanaa Khalil, said the problem began when she first showed up to work after being hired over the phone in March. It took the Department of Physical Sciences secretary, Maureen Sharkey, just a moment’s glance for the job posting to go downhill, according to Khalil.

“She turned her face when she looked at me … she turned her face like she saw something real bad,” Khalil told the Daily News. “It was clear to me it was because they found out that I was a Muslim.”

Khalil said Sharkey continued to treat her “in a dismissive tone,” and she and others hassled her over identification, security and equipment reservations. Sharkey’s behavior was enabled by department head John Mikalopas, who at one point asked Khalil, “Between you and me, do you really have a Social Security number?”

When Khalil turned to the school’s human resource department for help, Mikalopas showed up with two guards, and told her she was fired.

Khalil hopes the school learns the costly lesson.

“I am hoping that I will be the last one to go through this at this school,” she told the Daily News.

Source: I Nancy via Flickr

Eleven people have been arrested in an alleged fraud ring in which 38 day care centers collected $18 million in public funds since 2007, with several of the day cares located in Sheepshead Bay.

In all, four day care operators and seven city workers were charged with conspiring to pay or receive bribes; all but one were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the mail fraud conspiracy charge, and a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison on the bribery conspiracy charge, as well as fines of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

The complaint charges that a ring of 38 day care operators known as “The Congregation” paid bribes to city workers from three city agencies: the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Human Resources Administration and the Administration for Children’s Services.

The Congregation, allegedly controlled by Sheepshead Bay resident Liudmila Umarov, was exploiting the city’s Day Care Subsidy Program, which covers the costs of care for children from low-income families so that parents can obtain jobs. Umarov and her associates – Lyudmila Grushko, Yana Krugly and Rimma Volovnick – paid city workers for names and social security numbers of children who qualified for the program, and began billing the city for care they were not providing. Bribes were also paid to inspectors to overlook infractions, which included unqualified staff, lack of background checks, and not enough space per child. In at least one instance, hard alcohol was found in the refrigerator next to student lunches.

Among the Sheepshead Bay area day cares named in the complaint are: Paragon II Day Care, Inc., Learning Center Paragon, Amazing World Day Care Center, Banner Learning Center, Inc., and Sesame Street LMN Day Care. All of these centers are on Banner Avenue, just off Coney Island Avenue, though the full reach of the ring went as far as Staten Island.

Investigators hinted that more day care centers may be involved, and that the investigation will burrow further into this “massive fraud and bribery scheme.”

“We were concerned about the potential safety risk associated with letting this type of fraud go on,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement yesterday. “It is fair to say that today’s events mark the end of just the first chapter in a very active and ongoing investigation.”

View the Justice Department’s criminal complaint.
The New York Times]


NYPD photo of Snyder // Courtesy of

A reader sent me the following message last week:

My sister, her friend my next door neighbor and me all had a strange thing happen.  Last Saturday (6/19) a man knocked on my apartment door, claimed to live down the hall and asked for money for a copayment of $36 to get medicine for his daughter…I told him no…he then knocked on the door of my neighbor claimed he was a cousin of a third neighbor and asked her for $100.  This passed Wed. the same guy knocked on my sister’s door (she lives 1/2 mile from me).  She told me that a guy with the same description knocked on the door of a friend on Friday (6/18) night.  Just thought  the word should go out.

That reader lives on East 28th Street and Voorhies Avenue, and her sister on Knapp Street and Avenue X – so it looks like he might be hitting up co-ops on the eastern side of Sheepshead Bay.

If the story wasn’t weird enough, the next day another reader sent me a link to a story from a Staten Island newspaper. She lives in the Kings Bay co-ops; the same area as the other incidents. She wrote that the co-op manager slipped photocopies under residents’ doors.

Well, I took the story and the photo (above) and ran it past our original reader, who confirmed it was the man that came to her door.

The guy, Ronald Snyder, is a scam artist awaiting sentencing for doing out in S.I. exactly what he’s now doing in BK. Here’s an excerpt from the Staten Island story:

Keep reading to see how weird this story gets.

Courtesy of wallyg via Flickr

Seventeen men were indicted and a dozen medical supply companies were raided last week for their alleged involvement in a health care scam that netted more than $3 million for the conspirators. Most of those involved hailed from the Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Midwood neighborhoods.

According to, federal authorities say the defendants submitted false invoices to insurances companies for medical equipment with “payments that were well in excess of the price they initially paid through their individual retail medical supply companies.” Paybacks were given in checks issues to the wholesale companies, and the checks were cashed at check-cashing stores and delivered to the defendants.

Each of the 17 defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.

“The type of health care fraud and money laundering scheme these individuals allegedly constructed and engaged in affects all Americans and directly impacts America’s health care system,” said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, which conducted the investigation with the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.

Keep reading for a list of those involved.

A Sheepshead Bay resident is getting some relief, as a Fox 5 news report spurs on the process to clear his name.

Flatbush-based Police Officer Igor Groysman never rented a storefront in Nassau County. He never stocked that store with wireless products. But Groysman still faces losing everything as lawyers and bill collectors hound him for another Igor Groysman’s debts.

Fox 5 News reported on Tuesday that Groysman was the victim of erroneous court decisions against another man, which ultimately led to his bank accounts being seized and a lien put on his house.

“It’s destroying my life and my family life,” Groysman told Fox 5 News.

The trouble began in 2005, when Groysman received his first summons for another Groysman, who also lives in Sheepshead Bay, for failure to pay rent on the Nassau storefront. The man also owed money to the supplier of wireless devices for the store. [UPDATED]

Continue reading about how Groysman was steamrolled, and how the real Groysman is finally turning up

Next »